As the cost of living continues to rise, scammers are doing their best to access your cash. New research by Citizens Advice Dorset has found that 76 per cent of people living in the South West have been targeted this year.
The top five most common types of scams reported in the research included:
- Deliveries, portal and courier services – 56 per cent
- Government or HMRC scams – 46 per cent
- Banking – 29 per cent
- Rebates and refunds – 28 per cent
- Investment or financial – 21 per cent
Citizens Advice Bridport’s chief officer, Rovarn Wickremasinghe, said: “A shocking number of people in the South West have been targeted by a scammer so far this year. We know scammers prey on our worries and fears, sadly, the cost-of-living crisis is no exception.
“Anyone can be targeted by a scam, and as the purse strings are tightened and financial pressures pile on, it’s important we work together to protect ourselves and each other.”
The following may be a sign of a scam:
- It seems too good to be true – for example, scammers pretending to be energy companies to lure people into “too good to be true” deals
- You suspect you’re not dealing with a real company or a genuine person – take a moment to step back and double-check. Check the email address from the sender
- You’ve been pressured to transfer money quickly
- You’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way – like by an iTunes voucher or a transfer service
- You’ve been asked to give away personal information such as passwords, PINs or other verification codes
If you’ve been scammed, Citizens Advice Dorset advises:
- Talk to your bank or card company immediately if you’ve handed over any financial and sensitive information or made a payment
- Report the scam to Citizens Advice. Offline scams, like those using the telephone, post and coming to your door, can be reported to the Citizens Advice website or by calling 0808 223 1133. Report online scams to the dedicated Scams Action service either online or on 0808 250 5050
- Text scams can be reported to your mobile phone provider by forwarding it to 7726
- Also report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
For information on the genuine types of help available and how you’ll receive it see If you’re struggling with living costs and Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills on the Citizens Advice website.
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